Trina Davis has been a great addition to the Fiji squad scoring three in three at the OFC Women’s Nations Cup. In this exclusive interview with Football in Oceania, the American-born talks about her dream of getting Fiji to the World Cup and how she came to play for the Melanesian country.
“When I committed to Grambling State University, the head coach Justin Wagar asked me why I wasn’t playing on the Fiji national women’s team and I honestly didn’t have a clue how to even get in contact or how to try out,” Davis explains.
“He gave me [Fiji Men’s Head Coach] Christophe Gamel’s email and I sent him my bio and video clips of me. Later the Head Coach Marika [Rodu] emailed me and they were very interested in having me join their team and if we could let them know as soon as possible if this could be an option for me. Both my parents approved, and they wanted me to do this. They have always been super supportive of everything and we started off getting my Fiji citizenship and passport.”
Davis says playing for Fiji means more to her than playing for the USA would because “being Fijian is part of who I am.
“To play for Fiji I get to bring Fiji back home and let more people know about what Fiji really is, because most people back home don’t know that it’s a real place. I love Fiji and to represent this country I get to represent who I am, as well as all the family I have in Fiji and the family that are Fijian but live in the U.S.”
The 17-year-old says she was a little afraid of how the team would welcome her, but she didn’t need to worry.
“I was scared that they weren’t going to like me, or that it would take a while to try to fit in or even to fit in. But immediately I was proved wrong. They were so welcoming and they cheered me on when I was in the first game and it just feels so much like family and the bind we have as a team is what makes it special.”
That first game ended with a hattrick against Vanuatu in the OFC Women’s Nations Cup Qualifiers. Davis and the rest of the Fiji team has come a long way from that first game which she describes as “amazing” and was “shocked to start in”.
Now there’s only a semi-final showdown against Papua New Guinea on Wednesday 28th and the potential final on December 1st standing between Trina and the rest of Fiji and the OFC Women’s Nations Cup Trophy. She has no problems with saying the Fijian goal out loud; they want to win it all.
“As a team going into this tournament our goal has been to qualify for the World Cup. For Fiji to qualify for the semi-final, we made history, but that wasn’t the main objective. We still have our goal to achieve so we have to do everything right.”
Not only would a win in the final give the team the chance to go to the World Cup in France next year, it would also mean they qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Davis knows the semi-final clash with Papua New Guinea won’t be easy.
“Every detail is important. From our rest to our weight, hydration, attitude, what we eat, our trainings, it’s all the key factors that will matter. But for the game, we have to put everything we’ve learned together and leave it out on the field. To get the win we have to use the game plan and strategies the coaches have taught and told us to do,” she says.
“I think we will go all the way, I think Fiji will make it to the World Cup,” the 17-year-old says confidently.”
A big thank you to Trina Davis for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this interview. You can find Trina on Twitter here.